West Africa Caritas members gear up for flood response
11 September 2009
Caritas members across West Africa are assessing damage after heavy rain caused extensive flooding in the region.
Up to 600,000 people across the region have been so far affected by the flooding. Over 150 people have died.
“Caritas Members all stress that affected communities will need support and assistance not just for the next month or two but over the longer-term as they rebuild their homes and communities and restore their livelihoods,” said Dolores Halpin-Bachmann, emergency response coordinator at Cartitas Internationalis.
Caritas Senegal has launched an initial appeal of 48,000 euro to provide 2000 people affected by floods with food and hygiene kits for two months. Caritas would also give them tools to help people to start to farm again.
The appeal will cover the area in and around Dakar and is likely to be extended once further evaluation is completed.
In Niger and Burkina Faso, Caritas staff are assessing needs in preparation for launching emergency appeals.
Caritas Niger aims to distribute tents, food, cooking and hygiene kits, blankets and mosquito nets once it finds the funding.
Meanwhile, bishops in Burkina Faso have urged people to donate useful items such as clothes, covers and buckets to the flood-affected population.
An unprecedented amount of rain fell on the morning of 1 September in the capital, Ouagadougou.
Awa Ouédréogo, 55, a widow and mother of five who was flooded out, said, “ It’s the first time in my life that I’ve seen so much water. The floods took away our house and livestock. We’ve lost everything.”
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